Liner Notes (September 2nd, 2023)

This week’s newsletter has thoughts on new music I enjoyed this week and other musings. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • This week, I shared a fun little project I have been working on in my spare time that lets anyone rank, well, anything. I wrote up a blog post about my thinking behind why I wanted something like this to exist in the world, and I’ve been enjoying seeing people use it and share their various results for all sorts of things from albums to movies. I recommend bookmarking it, you never know when you’ll want to quickly rank something. At the very least, I hope it’ll be invaluable come the end of the year list-making time.


This week, the website and newsletter are again sponsored by MxPx. The band recently released their new album, Find a Way Home, and it’s the perfect end-of-summer pop-punk album to add to your rotation. The truth is this newsletter probably wouldn’t exist without me discovering MxPx all those years ago. So, to have them sponsor the website all month is a “come full circle” moment that makes me smile. Plus, I’ve been seeing multiple people in our community say the new album is the first album from the band they ever checked out, and now they’re excited to dive into over thirty years of music. (I also recommend Life in General as a great jumping-off point.)

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • My week’s music listening was dominated mainly by advance music. The two albums that came out this week that clicked with me include the new Charli Adams’ super solid EP and the live The 1975 album from Gorilla.
  • I’m not allowed to review the new Crime in Stereo album yet. So, this is not a review. I will say that if you’ve never checked out Crime in Stereo before, now’s a great time to dive into their catalog. They do that rock and roll soft-to-loud thing just about as well as anyone these days.
  • Unwell has a new eight-song album coming out in November called Trial & Error. It’s similar to the new Point North album, where it leans into the screaming with its obvious pop-punk influence. It’s been a great gym album all week, and I’d recommend keeping it on your radar.
  • My most played album of the week was the upcoming Boys Like Girls album. Anyone following my writing over the past few years knows I’ve been enamored with Martin’s The Night Game project. If I needed to point to something to define my current music tastes, it very well may be that album. So, to say that the new Boys Like Girls album sits very spiritually between that project and Love Drunk is to put upon it high praise. Earworms wrapped in lush cotton candy power-pop goodness. It’s instantly one of my favorites of the year. “Miracle” deserves radio play, “Physical” bounces like perfect rubber, and “Story of a Lifetime” could soundtrack a long-lost John Hughes’ movie.
  • The rest of my week was spent remembering how good Brandtson’s Send us a Signal is and thinking Cartel’s Collider might be the underrated gem of their discography.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 27 different artists, 38 different albums, and 343 different tracks (481 scrobbles). Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

Entertainment Thoughts

  • I hated Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. None of the de-aging stuff worked; it looked like bad cut-scenes from mediocre video games. So, I was immediately pulled out of the movie and then mad because none of that was necessary for the story. The over-reliance on noticeable CGI (weird SIMs-looking people walking in crowds, every action scene) kept me from ever being emotionally invested. By the time we reached the climax, I was just ready for it all to end. And that’s before getting to a nonsensical plot with characters doing the weirdest stuff with little to no motivation that made any lick of sense. I just don’t know why this needed to be made or why it needed to be a 300-million-dollar overstuffed calamity. I’ve seen the first three movies dozens of times, and I doubt I’ll ever watch the last two again.
  • Our main show this week was the John Adams miniseries from the early 2000s. Hannah and I had never seen it, and we wanted something tonally different from all the stuff we’d watched recently. It’s quite good. It won a bunch of awards, so I guess that shouldn’t surprise me.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Somehow, I avoided this round of COVID. Hannah tested negative for the first time about a week after her first symptoms, and I never tested anywhere close to positive. I am not sure how I pulled that off, but I’ll take it.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. Crime in Stereo – Books Cannot Be Killed by Fire
  2. Charli Adams – Cry Over Everything
  3. Brandtson – C’mon Fascista
  4. Lost Stars – Pop Song
  5. MxPx – Mountains to Climb
  6. Patrick Droney – Caroline
  7. Unwell – Clueless
  8. Better Love – Talk
  9. Thursday – Telegraph Avenue Kiss
  10. The Devil Wears Prada – Salt (Acoustic)

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Jason Tate in the “blink-182” thread.

Blink week was apparently not (yet) upon us.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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